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Borrowed from Latin horrendus, future passive participle (gerundive) of horreō (I dread) +‎ -ous.


  • enPR: hərĕn'dəs, IPA(key): /həˈɹɛndəs/
  • (old-fashioned)[1] enPR: ərĕn'dəs, IPA(key): /əˈɹɛndəs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛndəs


horrendous (comparative more horrendous, superlative most horrendous)

  1. Extremely bad; awful; terrible.
    There was horrendous carnage at the scene of the plane crash.
    My journey to work this morning was horrendous!
    • 2012 March, William E. Carter, Merri Sue Carter, “The British Longitude Act Reconsid ered”, in American Scientist[1], volume 100, number 2, page 87:
      But was it responsible governance to pass the Longitude Act without other efforts to protect British seamen? Or might it have been subterfuge—a disingenuous attempt to shift attention away from the realities of their life at sea. Conditions were horrendous aboard most British naval vessels at the time. Scurvy and other diseases ran rampant, killing more seamen each year than all other causes combined, including combat.
    • 2019 September 10, Phil McNulty, “'England horribly fallible in defence' against Kosovo in Euro 2020 qualifying”, in BBC Sport[2]:
      Maguire made an horrendous meal of the most basic piece of work to make it a treble helping of dreadful defending by England and for all the flair and fantasy of their attacking play there is no hiding away from the fact this is a serious weakness.


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One of four common words ending in -dous, which are hazardous, horrendous, stupendous, and tremendous.[2]


  1. ^ horrendous”, in Oxford Learner's Dictionaries
  2. ^ The Word Circus: A Letter-perfect Book, by Richard Lederer, Dave Morice, 1998, p. 229